My friend Nienke studying.
I managed to abandon the blog for another three months, yay me. Not. I don’t know how it happened but one day it was July 9 and I posted and suddenly it’s October 4…
I’ll give a quick rundown of the last three months. Most importantly, new school started. New school is a two-year program to become an elementary school teacher. The program is meant for people who’ve already gotten a diploma or have lots of experience with kids already as it is two years shorter than the regular program.
I follow this program at pabo De Eekhorst in Assen and so far I’m really liking it. The people in my class as well as my mentor/coach are really nice and I’ve learned a lot already in just a few weeks.
I contacted the school assigned to me for practical training yesterday and set up a meeting for coming Monday to discuss which days I’m coming in and which year I’ll train with first.
Then, a little over two months ago, I got a cat. He’s a four-year-old, black and white ex-male with the name Monet. I amended that into Jethro Venantius Monet but just call him Monet.
I got him from the animal shelter on the 24th of July and now it’s as if he’s always been here.
I’ll get some pictures up soon.
Besides that I had my birthday on the 28th; I turned 23. I celebrated with friends that Friday and the Sunday after with my family at my parent’s place as they won’t all fit in my house. I got many very pretty presents including a teapot, a lovely children’s book that was one of my (many) favourites when I was a kid, a concert dvd of Laura Pausini, cat toys and other stuff.
Today is World Animal Day and normally I would usually do something about, get Tessa a present, cuddle Monet extra but, unfortunately for them, I’m going swimming with two of my friends in the really fancy pool on one of those bungalow vacation parks.
I’d ordered some new clothes a little while ago in one of my favourite online stores and they finally arrived last Tuesday afternoon. Everything was there, even the blouse I’d been informed would come a few weeks later…
That evening I went to Eva for her birthday and we had a very nice and happy, lots-of-laughs evening save for a bout of sorrow when my friend got reminded of her pet dog who would be put to sleep the next day. Lodewijk, as he was called, was really, really old and just couldn’t go on anymore so the vet came by at their place yesterday afternoon. Eva said it had been a difficult day (of course) but that he had gone peacefully and it was okay.
Today was my mother’s birthday, she turned 57. We didn’t really celebrate though, that’ll be Saturday. We went grocery shopping this morning which enabled me to hop into the bookstore and get her a present. I’d been unsuccessful at finding a nice book last week but now I succeeded in finding a very nice book with short stories in our provincial dialect which was priced so nicely I could add another book to it. This was also a short story collection in our dialect but of a different author.
After I’d bought the gifts and we had finished the rest of the shopping we drove home. Along the way, we stopped at a car dealer ship as my parents (who’ve been after a new (2nd hand) car for a while now) knew he had one they thought was nice. So we spent some time there and they took the car for a little spin around the neighbourhood and when they came back they’d decided to buy it. They’ll go in next week to pick it up and leave the old car there. I’m gonna miss the old lady we’ve got now, a Volvo V40, ’cause she’s a very pretty red and we’ve had her for years. The new one’s gonna take some getting used to, I’m not too fond of the colour or the model of the car but it’s my parent’s car so their choice. And this one, a Peugeot 306, was very nicely priced.
When we got home, we stored away the groceries and then I finally got to give mom my presents and she was very pleased with them so yay me 😀
So, I’m back from neglecting the one and a half reader I might possibly have. I’ve had enormous fun over the past few weeks. Not doing anything specific, just hanging out with friends and such.
Last Wednesday I went swimming with Eva, Mellien and Ingrid in the harbour at Noordpolderzijl. When we arrived, high tide was still a couple of hours away so it was mostly clayey wet mud and very little water. But mud is great to play in…
Me all muddy:
Mellien, me and Eva all muddy:
The water did rise pretty fast though, it wasn’t long before we could really go swimming.
Also Castlefest is coming up (4-7 August) and I’m so looking forward to it. This time we’re staying in a cabin over the weekend so we’ll have decent beds and electricity (yay! camera reloading goodness).
Had another study session with Nienke today. We’ve had them twice before in the last week and a half or so and I find it very beneficial. During these days, I actually get stuff done.
We’ve agreed to make this a habitual thing and get together at least once a week to study. This will keep Nienke up to date on her psychology stuff during the summer holiday and will enable me to work on my paper.
As the title says, we didn’t just study, although the ‘play’ was limited. Nienke showed me a nice, little online game to kill time with which was very effective 😀
After dinner, we went to sit outside and continued our work there to enjoy the soft breeze that had come in after the sun had settled down. It’s been a very hot day, and now, at almost 01:00 it’s still 26 degrees in the house. I’ve a window open so some fresh air can come in but it’s going slow.
Nienke left around ten which resulted in a hectic couple of minutes as she couldn’t find her wallet, which, among other things, contained her public transport card and her college card, needed for the exam she’s having tomorrow. After a frenzied search through her bag and around the house on the places she’d been, she called home to check if she’d left it in the car, and guess what, she had.
This eased the biggest worry, she could do the exam. However, we still had two things to worry about, being 1) will we be on time at the bus stop, and 2) will she be able to get on, seeing as how she didn’t have her public transport card, and neither of us had enough money to pay for a regular ticket…
We made it on time to the bus stop with even enough time to spare for me to take a quick trip to the atm across the street to get some money, if Nienke needed it (her card was in her wallet). Just as I’d gotten back to the right side of the road, the bus came.
Since it was late on a Sunday night, the bus was one of those tiny 8-person van thingies. And, of course, it was full. As if we didn’t have enough bullshit already…
The driver called the central and after a few minutes managed to get into contact with the driver of another van-bus who said he’d stop by. And again some minutes later he did. And then Nienke’s luck turned to good for a little bit as the driver was familiar to her so she didn’t have to pay and he said he’d drop her off in her town.
But the turn in luck wasn’t for long… A little while later I got a phone call. It was Nienke and she was home, safe and sound and all, but tomorrow they were going to work on the sewage system in her town and no buses at all would go in or out…
So now her dad will drop her off in the next town tomorrow where she can take the bus to school to do the exam. Later tomorrow, we’ll be going to the cinema to see X-Men 3: The Last Stand. I’ve already seen it in Gent with Gert and Reimer but Nienke hasn’t and the film was way cool enough that I’ll want to see it again. It’ll give me the chance to look for the details on the big screen. 😀
The Rapalje gig saturday was great! Check my gallery for a bunch of photos. Eva also put some video bits on Google, see: Rapalje playing, Rapalje & Annemarie doing Caledonia & fans playing music on the field
Ingrid picked me up from my parent’s place at around 2:45 and we went on our way to pick up Eva, Judith and Mellien before going back to Ingrid’s place to get some stuff she forgot.
After that, we were finally ready to head to Nieuweschans where we arrived roughly 3:30.
We took a stroll across the fantasy market they were having and it was fun, I was tempted to buy some mead but decided against it. We lounged about for a bit until we met up with Renate, a colleague of Eva. We had just gotten comfortable on the grass when all of a sudden, the fenced of part of the terrain (reserved for the concert) needed to be enlarged. As we were sitting right were they were going to pass with the fences, we hastily made way.
After that had happened, the market soon drew to a close and the concert was near. Everyone had to get out and come back in so it could be checked that everyone had their ticket and the complimentary Rapalje beakers could be handed out. Fortunately, we already had ours so we were back in pretty soon with a shiny new Rapalje beaker.
We found ourselves a spot on the grass behind a bench so some of us who wanted to sit on the bench could while the rest lounged on the grass. Ingrid went to get Fyndlings, the coins used to pay for the food and drinks on Rapalje fests and we all went lazy and gave her money to get us some coins as well. 😀
Cooking Highlander was there to cater, as usual, with their kick-ass three tier barbeque and soon we we’re standing in line to get some food. I had a very tasty chicken leg, yummy! My first drink of the night was a simple coke but later I decided to get some mead and, while I usually don’t like alcohol, I’d found out during an earlier event do like mead. And this night I found out I really like mead so I had another.
Shortly after we’d gotten food, the concert started and it was great as usual. David Myles was there to accompany them. He’s an amazing bagpiper and I adore his playing. I hope to one day be as good as he is.
As this was a fest to celebrate their 10 year jubilee, they’d invited musicians that played with them in their first years and played with them again. There was also some dueting with a very good singer called Annemarie whom they apparantly sometimes play with. Her voice and Williams’ mixed wonderfully!
Rapalje played three sets spread over the evening and in between there was a jam session opportunity for the public. Annemarie and some of her friends played and some others as well.
The evening ended around midnight and then we still had to get back home and drop all of us off at where we belonged. All in all, I was in my bed at 1:30, not a good time if you have to get up at 7:30-8:00 (on Sunday morning…).
That was since my folks would be at my door at 9:00 to pick me up to go to the birthday party of my aunt and uncle, two hours away. I was quite sleepy in the car and may have dozed off even. We arrived safely and the day was lots of fun as the party was at the special needs daycare centre my cousin works. It completely took care of the kids who loved all the play opportunities as well as the snuggle room that had a waterbed and moodlights and stuff like that. I had great fun as well, playing a bit with the kids, taking photos (and some movies as well) of them.
We had brought the dog with us as well as we had no sitter for her and she enjoyed herself as well, the terrain was fenced in so she could walk around freely and me, my mom and an aunt of mine went for a walk with her that afternoon.
She did nick a cheese sandwich when we got back 😀 They had been placed on a low shelf, right at dog mouth height and we got back in from walking her and she just went straight for it and grabbed one.
At first I didn’t quite see what she was doing and went like “Tessa? What’re you doing?” She glanced back guiltily with the sandwich in her mouth and I couldn’t help but laugh. I sent her outside and quickly put the sandwiches up higher. Funnest thing was, she did it again later… Only this time she nicked a sandwich from someone’s bag…
Ah well, she didn’t end up with any nasty side effects and neither did the person she nicked it from so, all’s well, end’s well.
Went home with the parental units and slept there for ease. Was glad to be back in bed that evening, two busy days had me pretty beat.
Being the Trekkie that I am, I recently purchased the Star Trek Cookbook. I thought it would be a nice idea to give you all here a taste, so to speak, of what this book has to offer. To accomplish this, I invited a friend over for dinner and picked out a recipe.
The recipe is Alfarian Hair Pasta. Before I go on to the Earth variety of this dish, I’ll give you some background on the original. The Alfarian Hair Pasta is made from the hair-follicles of an Alfarian. This high-protein and fibre hair is harvested during shedding season on the planet Tarkannan. Since the Alfarian is not present on Earth, some adjustments have been made to the recipe and the ingredient list (for four servings) is as follows:
1 16-ounce package of angel hair pasta
1 6-ounce can of anchovy paste removed
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
6 large tomatoes, chopped not present
2 medium onions, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped became red pepper
Â½ clove of garlic, sliced thin
Â½ clove of garlic, crushed
Â¼ cup of parsley, freshly chopped not present
1 teaspoon fresh basil not present
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons sugar
1 bay leaf removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Grated Parmesan cheese to taste not used
half a courgette (aka Zucchini)
I slightly modified this due to not having tomatoes, parsley or basil. It being Pentecost, I could not go to the store and get it as they were all closed. I also did not have a green pepper so substituted a red one. A final modification was the removal of anchovy from the ingredient list (I hate anchovy) as well as the bay leaf (no idea what that was). I added courgette and some more tomato paste to make up for the lost real tomatoes and anchovy paste.
The cooking procedure itself also underwent some modifications as the recipe, when followed to the letter, takes more than 1½ hours to finish, and we just did not have that much time.
So, on to the actual cooking itself. The process as I describe here is what I did, and is not a direct copy from the book. It also assumes that all the necessary chopping, slicing and crushing has been done.
Put the olive oil into a large pan and add the sliced garlic. Quickly cook the garlic and then add the onions and pepper. Then add the tomato paste, stir and let simmer for a bit. Keep stirring or else it will stick to the bottom (as happened to me, I did get it all off but it’s a pain in the ass when doing the dishes). This can be stopped by adding a generous amount of cooking cream (I use light) to make the paste a bit more fluid. Add the herbs, sugar and courgette and stir again so it mixes nicely.
The dish is a vegetarian one, but this is a nice time to add some meat to the mix (chicken or something). You can either use precooked meat that you dice and add to it so it can heat up again, or prepare some meat in a separate pan while you make the sauce and add that.
When you’re almost done with the sauce, cook the angel-hair pasta following the directions on the packaging. In general, the noodles need to be put in a pan of water and placed on the fire until the water boils or is near boiling. When that moment comes, stir the noodles to make them loose and leave them in the water for a few more minutes. Then remove them from the water and drain to get rid of all excess water.
For a fancy way of serving this, put the noodles in a bowl and place some sauce on top. Put the rest of the sauce in a separate bowl and serve. Regular, plain-ol’-Jane style involves the noodles being divided between, and placed directly on, the plates. The sauce then follows the same procedure and you just hand out the ready plates.
I really liked what I made and so did my friend so I’m hoping this will inspire (some) of you to wander into the kitchen and try it out for yourselves. Have a fun time cooking and enjoy the result.
Heya folks! It’s been a bit but then, I’ve been busy 🙂 Last weekend (9-12 June), Othalla and I went to Gent to pay Zel a visit. We left Friday morning around 11 and finally arrived at Gent Station around… ehm… sixish? Something like that, it was a hell of a train trip anyway. Went out to eat that evening and then had a good time out in the city.
The rest of the weekend were fun where we got to see some of the sights Gent has to offer and enjoyed the good weather as well as the new X-Men movie. Monday morning, we left again taking the elevenish train out of Gent and finally arriving back in Groningen around 7. Ugh! Almost all the trains we were in had a delay of some kind and the weather was terribly hot so all in all, the train trip back could’ve been better. Although, pleasant company does make up for a lot of it 🙂
June 2nd was my Dad’s birthday, the old man turned 63. The family came by and we had a very nice day and evening. I really like my family (and I have a lot of them) and am always pleased when special occasions or events (like a birthday) bring the family together. Just two days after my Dad’s birthday, my uncle had his so there was another get together.
Coming weekend, the 18th, another aunt and uncle of mine will celebrate their birthdays. The 18th is not the actual date but since their birthdays are only about ten days apart, they usually pick a date in between and celebrate both birthdays together. I’m not sure whether or not I’ll be going seeing as how they’re having the event in a nearby community centre thingy and not at home. So, whether or not I’m going depends on if my parents can bring the dog. If they can’t, I’ll be dog-sitting.
The Saturday before, on the 17th, me and some of my friends will be going to a Rapalje performance in Nieuweschans. Fun!
Finally, Sunday the 25th I’ll be dogsitting as well when my parents are going to visit another aunt and uncle of mine and, if all goes well, the day after that my excavation will start. We’ll be registering the profile of a wierde in Anjum (as far as I know, I will be going down to the city to check up on the exact specifics). It’s gonna be exciting as it’s down to the original habitation layer at some points.
Fun, fun, fun. Zel came by last Thursday. Or rather, that’s when he arrived at Oth’s place and the two of them came to see me on Friday and it was fun! Tse likes Zel!
I also got a new sofa that day, it’s actually a new secondhand sofa but it’s so much better than the one I used to have. Now, when I have somewhat older people over, they can actually get up from the sofa again. 😀
And in the Equilism Elections Neo became President, having gotten 9 votes and me 5. FarmerLaborerers became Prime Minister just beating EC. The new cabinet the selected is now up for a 48 hour confirmation vote and I will be Minister of Intelligence, yeehaw! It’s clear already that all Ministers (West, Asta, Tycho and I) plus Chauce as Cabinet Advisor for FA will be approved so I’m looking to get a hold of Noot and have a little chat about things.
I’ve been living on my own for three months now and I’m amazed at the improvement it has had on my social life. I feel as if I’ve spend more time with my friends than before (especially Gert/Othalla who has been here, four, five times now in three months and before that two times at my parent’s place in all of three and a half years we know each other).
Speaking of Othalla, he came by Wednesday and we had a fun day and evening sitting in the sun taking a walk (he)/cycling (me) and playing scrabble. Finally, late in the evening we did the dishes and sat down again to talk and he missed the 23:30 bus. No problem we figured as last time he was here there was a 00:30 bus as well. So, about an hour later, we were standing at the busstop waiting. And waiting. And waiting but no bus. So Gert went to take a look and goes like “it says here, 00:29”. So we waited some more. And more. I then went to take a look and couldn’t help laughing as Othalla had been looking at the Saturday schedule…
I said to him he had two options, take a cab or sleep over. So, long story short, a little while later, I was up in the attic taking down the spare mattress and sleeping bag and pillow.
Now then, Equilism. It’s almost election time again. This Saturday they will start and I am going to run for president. I’m looking forward to it but at the same time it scares the hell out of me, and it’s just a game… Well, not really, it’s very important to me but still…
But, until Saturday, I’m still the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and as such I wrote a draft statement concerning The West Pacific and outlined my election program points. I won’t be creating a pre-made speech out of that though. I will write my initial candidate post from the heart at that moment incorporating my outlined plans/ideas.
I also found another meme that’s fun! It’s called Six Degrees of Booking (can’t quite remember where I found it) and is about linking six books in your bookcase together.
I’ll start with the last book I finished, Saturn 3, a novelization of the movie of the same name (which is where the link leads to). The movie is from 1980 starring Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett as the good guys and Harvey Keitel as the bad guy. It apparently is a really bad movie, having been nominated for Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Kirk Douglas) and Worst Actress. The novelization was written by Steve Gallagher.
This reminds me of David Gallagher, actor in the dramaseries 7th Heaven where he plays a character called Simon. Which in turn reminds me of Simon & Schuster, the publisher of (among other things) Star Trek Books. Leading eventually to the second book, the last Star Trek book I read Articles of the Federation, written by Keith DeCandido. The book basically details a year in the life of the president of the United Federation of Planets and I it.
Keith DeCandido also writes Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in novels which brings me to the book What Would Buffy Do? The Vampire Slayer as Spiritual Guide by Jana Riess. I don’t actually own this book myself, I bought it as a birthday gift for a friend when I was in the UK. However, I did read it myself and it’s actually quite fun. A sort of mellow self help book extensively referencing BtVS.
This makes me think of the Buffy episode “Once More With Feeling” and iits soundtrack (which I have). That, in turn, makes me think of other sound tracks I have, including two LOTR ones. So, fourth book is The Lord of the Rings. No link as I assume everyone knows it, either having it read it or because of the movies. Or even just having heard of it.
The fifth book, lead on by the orcs in Tolkien’s work, is Grunts by Mary Gentle. A very fun fantasy book where the orcs are the main characters this time. They are always the underdog in wars as Good always has to win and they’re unhappy with that but unable to change it. Until they stumble upon new, fancy, 20th century, weapons and actually get their act together and resemble an army.
All this talking about war leads me to the sixth and final book, A History of Warfare by John Keegan which is one I haven’t actually read yet as I have it more as a reference/research book when/if I need it.
So, that’s it for now. See you next time.